The 2015 Mazda CX-5

2015 Mazda CX-5

It’s the model that paved the way for a whole new generation of Mazdas. Now, with a variety of advancements, the 2015 Mazda CX-5 again points the way forward for the brand.

■ A revamped face, wheels and lighting for the 2012 Japan Car of The Year Award winner
■ Making even more efficient use of space, the cabin also provides a new level of design and material quality
■ Available with Mazda’s most powerful SKYACTIV-G petrol engine.
■ Features Mazda’s latest range of active safety technology, including several brand-new systems
■ Equipped with the MZD Connect in-car connectivity system

Exterior design
■ The first ever KODO – Soul of Motion production model evolves with the brand while retaining its vitality, dynamism and unique SUV styling
• bolder grille with five prominent horizontal fins and matching fog lamp bezels*
• new front and rear lighting signatures with full LED headlights
• redesigned 19-inch alloy wheels with a sharp two-tone finish*
■ A well-planted stance, sculptured athletic body shapes and striking fenders allude to power and the CX-5’s muscular nature
■ Available in four body colours, including Sonic Silver (all-new).

Interior design
■ Cabin expresses SUV power in a driver-oriented space that heightens anticipation of the experience behind the wheel
■ New shapes and finishing exude quality and subtle tastefulness
• instrument panel and higher, wider floor console impart a sense of power extending out to the sides of the cabin on a horizontal plane, also clearly defining the centre axis
• electrical parking brake (EPB) replaces brake lever — a Mazda first — for a clean, uncluttered look
• commander control and other switches functionally laid out behind the shift lever
■ Comes with pure white (new) or black leather upholstery as well as black fabric

Connectivity, functionality & equipment
■ Improves on a driving position with already one of the highest eye points and the widest fields of vision in the segment
■ Fuses Mazda’s new-generation humanmachine interface with SUV utility
• efficient use of spacious cabin with functional features laid out intelligently and ergonomically
• all controls and components are where they should be for trouble-free and virtually effortless operation
• rotary commander* on centre console even easier to access with an electric parking brake switch replacing the hand brake lever

■ MZD Connect*, Mazda’s in-car smartphone connectivity concept…
• works with the user’s smartphone, building on existing Bluetooth®, email and SMS features such as voice recognition and hands-free functionality
• safely brings a range of free mobile content into the car, including:
> Aha radio app with more than 100,000 broadcasts, from radio stations and podcasts to audio books and more
> Twitter and Facebook audio feeds, including posting options
> personalised location-based services
• includes Mazda’s vehicle applications like fuel economy monitor, maintenance reminders and warning guidance
• all functions appear on the 7-inch touchscreen* at the top of the centre stack

* Availability of connectivy function depends on user’s Smartphone and data plan.

■ Best rear legroom, knee clearance and foot space in the segment along with topclass
hip and shoulder room
■ Advanced seat structure front and rear offering more hold, better posture and enhanced all-around ride comfort
■ Top-class boot** (503 litres) with minimal protrusions, expandable to 1,620 litres of flat cargo space with rear seats folded
• an effortless procedure thanks to threepiece 4:2:4 rear seats* with remote release levers for all three sections (located in rear cargo area)
■ More cabin stowage possibilities with a wider, cleaner centre console, larger door pockets, etc.

Power comes from two ultra high compression SKYACTIV-G direct injection petrol engines coupled with crisp-shifting lightweight six-speed SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmissions.

The 2.5-litre SKYACTIV-G direct injection petrol engine features:
■ An exceptionally high 13:1 compression ratio
■ The same technology as the 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G to make high compression so efficient (see below)
■ A balance shaft to offset the added vibration from the most powerful SKYACTIV engine to date

■ AWD: 141kW/188PS at 5,700rpm & 290Nm at 4,000rpm

Fuel consumption (combined) & CO2 emissions:
■ with six-speed automatic: 7.2/100km & 165g/km
■ emissions class: Euro 4

The 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G direct injection petrol engine features:
■ A 14:1 compression ratio (world’s highest in a mass-production model*)
■ A specially designed 4-2-1 exhaust system

■ FWD: 121kW/155PS at 6,000rpm & 200Nm at 4,000rpm

SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission…
■ Now with Drive Selection for all petrol models:
• changes into “sport” mode at the flip of a switch next to the gearshift for added linear responsiveness via faster downshifts and increased torque in response to pressure on the accelerator pedal
■ Features an extra-wide lock-up range clutch
■ Delivers quick and direct shifting

Chassis & body
The centrepiece of Mazda’s lightweight design strategy: With its SKYACTIV chassis and body technology, the CX-5 features one of the lowest curb weights in its segment (starting at 1,315kg).

■ Front MacPherson strut and rear multi-link suspension optimised to deliver the pleasant driving experience of the current CX-5 along with smother, comfortably flat ride and better initial steering response:
• new structure for front and back shock absorbers
• enhanced bushing shapes for front lower arms

■ New-generation AWD set-up features the world’s first* front-slip detection warning system
• uses 27 sensors to continuously monitor road conditions and driver intentions, immediately transmitting power to appropriate wheels even under rapidly changing conditions
• prevents wheel spinning and too much rear-drive operation, thereby maximising better fuel economy
• new low-viscosity oil works well even in very cold temperatures, further improving real-world fuel economy

■ Mazda revisited noise paths into the CX -5 cabin from the road and engine to reduce high-speed cabin noise by 13% by (among other things):
• adding more insulation to strategic areas
• improving door seals and using thicker glass
• altering the shape to the door mirrors to prevent wind noise
■ While eliminating unpleasant and intrusive noise, drivers still receive vibration and feedback that help them drive and feel connected to the vehicle
■ Lightweight high strength steel makes up 61% of the body, enhancing the structure as well as crash safety and handling
■ Still among the lightest and most aerodynamic compact SUVs available

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 is equipped with more advanced active safety technology* than ever, including several firsts.

■ Adaptive LED Headlights (ALH) is a brand-new system featuring four independently controllable LED blocks per headlamp; ALH takes over the function of High Beam Control (HBC), further improving night-time visibility by e.g. only shutting off those high-beam blocks that could impair the vision of an oncoming motorist (Mazda debut)
■ Also new, the Lane-keep Assist System (LAS) incorporates the Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), alerting the driver of unintended lane changes at 65km/h and up, also providing steering torque assistance to return the car safely to its intended lane
■ Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) rapidly blinks the hazard lights during heavy braking to warn ensuing motorists
■ Hill Launch Assist (HLA) controls brake pressure to prevent vehicle from rolling during hill starts
■ Standard four-way ABS with EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution), EBA (brake assist), DSC (dynamic stability control) and TCS (traction control system)
* Availability depends on trim level and market

Cutting-edge passive safety features include:
■ The impact-absorbing SKYACTIV-Body, which is:
• made from 61% high-tensile steel
• designed to disperse impact energy around and away from the cabin
■ Bumpers made from 1,800 MPa ultra-high tensile steel
■ Extraordinary sight angle and field of view for the driver
■ Seats designed for occupant safety (e.g. anti-whiplash architecture)
■ Seatbelts equipped with pretensioners to better hold occupants in place and load limiters to mitigate chest injury
■ Standard front, side and curtain airbags
■ Front bumper, bonnet, body cowl and instrument panel designed to prevent or reduce pedestrian injury

2. Introduction
Building on momentum

Three years ago, the Mazda CX-5 set the course for a whole new generation of Mazdas redesigned and re-engineered from the ground up. Now, the 2015 Mazda CX-5 gives the exceptionally popular model a dosage of customer oriented refinement.

People liked the Mazda CX-5 from day one, and sales have exceeded expectations in virtually every market around the globe ever since. Launched some three years ago, the carmaker’s very first compact SUV instantly became one its core models.

Among the many aspects they like are the way it drives and handles, the sporty, elegant styling, the advanced equipment, and the outstanding fuel efficiency with no compromise to performance. People were, however, looking for a smoother, quieter ride, and although mostly positive about the interior, they pointed out a thing or two with improvement potential.

Always listening, Mazda set out with the 2015 CX-5 to give the market more of what it demanded while at the same time solidifying the model’s attractiveness and evolving the brand’s expression. Outside, Mazda enhanced the KODO design and SUV strength with a more powerful grille, sharper LED head- and taillight signatures, and redesigned wheels, among other things. A higher quality look and feel dominates the interior, meanwhile, along with a cleaner, more functional and more comfortable layout.

The company made a special effort to boost ride comfort with redesigned seats and a number of measures to quieten the cabin. This goes hand-in-hand with a suspension restructured to flatten out the road without detracting from the superb handling. In fact, the changes have improved both steering response and road stability.

As for performance and efficiency, the CX-5 is now available with a more powerful SKYACTIV-G petrol engine. Speaking of value, the 2015 CX-5 also offers an executive-class range of active safety technology including a number of intelligent new driver-focused systems. With 57 awards thus far, this model has been attracting a lot of attention. The 2015 Mazda CX-5 looks destined to keep the world interested.

3. Design
A confident touch

Back where it all started: Mazda’s first production model with a KODO – Soul of Motion design was an immediate success. The 2015 CX-5 again shows the way to the future for the Mazda brand.

Having consistently topped sales forecasts in virtually every market, the CX-5 has become one of Mazda’s best-selling core models. One reason why: the compact SUV’s stunning looks, with body shapes combining SUV sturdiness and functionality with a powerful yet elegant sense of motion.

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 augments the vitality of the award-winning shapes, built around the rear-leaning cabin and well-planted look, with an even bolder nose. Featuring five prominent horizontal fins painted metallic grey with matching fog lamp bezels*, the grille underlines SUV stability while renewing the CX-5’s refreshing modern edge.

The latest version of the CX-5 gets full LED headlights*, now with a clearer and more three-dimensional lighting signature that’s full of energy (as well as making night-time driving safer). The LED fog lamps* give a consistent colour to the front lighting for a more persuasive look, which is complemented and bolstered by the rear LED combination lamps*.

Majestically agile
The prominent rear fenders and edgy liftgate surfaces further augment the CX-5’s sturdy, elegant form, differentiating the CX-5 from a typical SUV. Designers combined what one would expect from a crossover SUV – an active, powerful appearance – with Mazda’s characteristically dynamic and emotional styling. All in pursuit of the greatest possible balance between form and function.

Take the door mirrors, now downsized to reduce vibration and featuring LED turn signals. The angle of the A-pillars gives the driver an outstanding field of view, enhancing safety as well as driving enjoyment. The rear spoiler, meanwhile, looks sporty while contributing to aerodynamics. Made of a unique resin material, the bumpers too contribute to performance, since they’re just as rigid as the conventional variety yet around 20% lighter.

* Availability depends on trim level

Viewed at its full length, the CX-5 exudes dynamism, with continuous forms and lines
conveying an impression of speed. The sculptured body sides and bold fender arches skirt distinctive new 19-inch aluminium wheels** sporting a three-dimensional look, with five pairs of machined spokes contrasting the darker gunmetal surfaces available in CX-5 AWD.

In the cabin, Mazda has fused solid yet tastefully mature styling reflecting the exterior strength and sturdiness with advanced interior ergonomics, including the latest humanmachine interface.

Tastefully roomy
The goal was to create a space that makes people want to get in and drive. A prime example is the centre console. Clearly defining the cabin’s centre axis, it’s wider than before with a second cupholder, an additional storage box and a larger, deeper main L-shaped console box with space for a tablet and 10 CDs. The cover doubles as a larger armrest positioned higher than in the current version of the CX-5, so it’s more comfortable too. In the name of comfort, there are also soft** kneepads where the floor console meets the centre stack.

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 does away with the parking brake lever, adding instead a switch for the electrical parking brake (EPB) – a Mazda debut. This, of course, contributes greatly to the uncluttered nature of the console. The latest generation rotary commander is neatly and functionally located just below the gearshift next to the EPB. These elements are surrounded by an attractive polished aluminium-look panel like the one encompassing the steering wheel controls.

The material used on the lower dash and instrument panel elements reflects the solid build quality of the 2015 Mazda CX-5 cabin. Also imparting a sense of power, the aluminium panel** extending out to the passenger-side door highlights the horizontal flow and well-appointed breadth and roominess of the passenger space. It also offers a nice contrast with the black interior components. The satin chrome trim around the instrument cluster gauges and climate control louvres (among other things) only adds to the premium-class impression and coherency.

** depends on trim level

Looks, feels good
As far as seat and trim upholstery* goes, new pure white leather has been added to the existing
choice of black leather (both with attractive double stitching) and black fabric. The new offering contrasts strongly with black base colour, while the black leather interior establishes a sense of unity that heightens the 2015 CX-5’s sporty SUV appeal.

The materials and styling mark a step forward, enhancing form, feel and function. From the leather steering wheel* and metal spokes to the wider door pockets and three-dimensional gauges in the instrument cluster, it’s something people will notice immediately – and repeatedly.

Body colours
The exterior is available in five colours including Sonic Silver, which was specially designed to show off the 2015 Mazda CX-5’s extraordinary shapes. Sonic Silver has been added to the line-up, joining Soul Red, Jet Black, Meteor Grey and Crystal White.

* Availability depends on trim level and market

4. Comfort, functionality & equipment
All the advantages

The revitalised interior of the 2015 Mazda CX-5 brings a wealth of enhancements to the already sophisticated comfort along with the modern convenience of safe incar connectivity. And it’s all been designed for effortless access.

A highly effective interior that is both comfortable and user-friendly. For Mazda, it all boiled down to finding the optimal ergonomic design and enriching what makes people feel good.

Space is therefore utilised efficiently and functional features laid out intelligently. Here the company exploited its vast experience perfecting the human-machine interface on other new-generation models launched since the current version of the CX-5. All the controls and components, from the pedals to the sun visors, are positioned for troublefree and virtually effortless operation.

The 2015 CX-5 is spacious, too, in spite of the compact-looking exterior. Typical for an SUV, the driver sits in a commanding position: In precisely the spot with the best perspective of the road for a top-class horizontal and vertical angle of view. That means more predictable driving and a safer, less stressful journey for driver and passengers alike.

They’re able to stay in touch along the way with MZD Connect*. Mazda’s unique in-car connectivity system works together with a smartphone, providing safe and straightforward access to internet content and social networking sites, something that many people today consider essential even when in transit. Take advantage of a growing choice of more than 100,000 broadcasts via Aha, a cloud-based platform offering radio, podcasts and audio books as well as personalised location-based services developed precisely for the vehicle. Or listen to Facebook posts and tweets, replying with likes and posting audio messages.

Safely linked up
MZD Connect* improves existing voice recognition and hands-free functionality, and with it the convenience of Bluetooth® connectivity. It also expands on email and SMS features, allowing occupants to send and receive text messages.

* Connectivity functions depend on user’s Smartphone and data plan. 

Use the fuel economy monitor to keep an eye on consumption or get maintenance reminders and warning guidance from the respective Mazda applications included with MZD Connect.

Like the premium audio from the nine-speaker Bose surround sound system*. And it’s all controllable while letting drivers keep their eyes on the road, either via voice command or the rotary commander, which has been optimised for blind operation from its convenient location on the centre console.

The electrical parking brake (EPB) switch located next to the commander was also designed to prevent driver error. Replacing the hand brake lever, it will automatically disengage when the accelerator is pressed, but only if the door is closed and driver’s seatbelt fastened. Operating the switch manually, meanwhile, requires the engine to be running and the driver’s foot on the brake pedal.

Wealth of comfort
Driver and passenger will be comfortable and secure thanks to the 2015 CX-5’s evolved front and rear seat structure. Designed for a good, snug fit with excellent hold, these help occupants maintain the ideal posture for top ride comfort. The front seatbacks use a suspension mat rather than an s-shaped construction and thus conform better to a given occupant’s body while dispersing weight over wider area. The thicker rear seat cushions, meanwhile, are also deeper for a more natural, comfortable and relaxed seating position – again in response to customer feedback. Front and rear, Mazda has adopted a special vibration-absorbing urethane foam for the cushions, further augmenting the refined SUV ride quality.

Delivering good lumbar and upper body support, the seats relieve fatigue while arresting lower body movement during cornering. The 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat* includes power lumbar support and easy-toreach controls. The centre armrests are wide enough for sharing, while the lateral distance from centre hip point (or middle of the seat) to the door trim provides plenty of hip and elbow room. Shoulder room, too, is top class front and back, while rear legroom, knee clearance and foot space are particularly generous for this segment.

* Availability depends on trim level

Designed for life
In the back, the CX-5 features Mazda’s independent three-piece 4:2:4 folding seats* – the industry’s first with remote release levers for all three sections. Operated using either the one-action remote levers conveniently located in the top side trim on each side of the luggage compartment or from inside the car via buttons on the seat uppers, the dive-down rear seats fold into a virtually flat storage space for the utmost in flexibility. The centre section serves either as a fifth seat, centre armrest with built-in cupholders, or folds flat to transport long items. And there is still enough room for two child seats or two adults to ride in comfort.

It’s another example of how the 2015 Mazda CX-5 can flexibly accommodate all sorts of cargo without detracting from passenger comfort, intelligently meeting a range of needs with a highly efficient boot space. A cube form was chosen with no unwanted protrusions or dead space along with a liftgate designed for easy loading. In fact, the top-class boot capacity** of 503 litres can hold four golf bags with long drivers or four suitcases. Fold down the rear seats, and you have 1,620 litres of total volume.

* Availability depends on trim level 

Premium BOSE® Sound System (standard on 2.5L AWD SPOR variant)

Nine high-performance speakers

1 Three 80mm Twiddler neodymium mid/high-range speakers in the instrument panel.

2 Two 230mm neodymium woofers in the front doors.

3 Two 135mm neodymium wide-range speakers in the rear doors.

4 Two 80mm Twiddler neodymium mid/high-range speakers in the D-pillars.

Audio electronics
5 A Bose ® digital amplifier
mounted in the front-right kick panel. Includes Bose® digital signal processing with Bose® surround technology (Centerpoint® and Surround Stage), Audio-Pilot® 2 noise compensation technology and eight channels of customised equalisation.

6 AudioPilot® 2 microphone
mounted inside the cabin monitors the interior noise level.

5. Powertrains
Blazing a trail

This was the car that ushered in the SKYACTIV era at Mazda, paving the way for a new generation of models powered by unconventionally efficient lightweight drivetrains. As the 2015 Mazda CX-5 demonstrates, they’re stronger than even.

The high-efficiency SKYACTIV powertrains fully bring out the full potential of the 2015 CX-5, both as an SUV and a fun-to-drive Mazda. A wealth of torque, evident in all driving situations, enriches acceleration behaviour. The driver is able to manipulate the car at will, for gratifying linear driving performance together with outstanding fuel efficiency.

A look under the CX-5’s bonnet will reveal one of two high-efficiency petrol four-cylinder engines, paired with six-speed SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmissions in either all-four-wheel drive (AWD) or front-wheel drive (FWD) format*. Whatever the combination, all CX-5 models feature i-stop, Mazda’s unique fuel-saving idle-stop system providing one of the world’s fastest restarts.

SKYACTIV engines are about making internal combustion as effective as possible. For Mazda’s petrol engines, the means is the world’s highest compression in a mass production passenger car, namely 13:0 in the SKYACTIV-G 2.0. The 2015 CX-5 is also available with the SKYACTIV-G 2.5, the most powerful SKYACTIV powerplant to date. To resolve the challenges associated with high compression, such as knocking, they utilise unique technology such as a long 4-2-1 exhaust system and special pistons. As a result, they’re lighter with considerably less internal friction than comparably sized conventional engines while delivering more torque, better fuel economy and lower emissions.

The FWD 2.0L petrol-powered CX-5 delivers 155PS at 6,000rpm and 200Nm of torque at 4,000rpm. In the FWD CX-5, this is good for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 8.9 seconds (automatic)
At 6.0l/100 km, its combined cycle fuel economy corresponds to CO2 emissions of 139g/km, among the best in its class. This is partly thanks to the direct injection system, which sprays the fuel through the six-hole injectors at 30-200 bar – an exceptionally wide range.

AWD CX-5s are also available with the SKYACTIV-G 2.5, whose output of 188PS at 5,700rpm and 250Nm at 4,000rpm pulls the 2015 CX-5 to 100km/h in 8.0 seconds and a top speed of 194 km/h.

To the wheels
Drive Selection is a new SKYACTIV-Drive feature for all petrol-powered 2015 CX-5s. It allows the driver to change into “sport” mode using a switch located next to the gearshift for faster downshifting and more torque in response to the same pressure on the accelerator pedal. The faster linear response will be reassuring in a variety of situations, for example when merging on to a high-speed motorway.

SKYACTIV-G: Unconventional, effective & economical


■ 13:1 compression ratio* is the highest of any petrol-powered mass-production passenger vehicle** and a level only seen thus far in high-performance racing engines
■ Bucks trend towards downsized and turbocharged engines with lower compression while delivering superior efficiency:
• more low & mid-range torque for excellent low rpm engine response
• outstanding real-world fuel economy with the corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions
■ Uses lightweight pistons and connecting rods, for example, reducing engine weight as well as internal engine friction
■ The long 4-2-1 exhaust manifold lowers the quantity and pressure of hot residual gases flowing back into combustion chamber to prevent knocking – a traditional downside to high compression – and help reduce vibration
■ Optimised ignition timing along with fuel spray-enhancing six-nozzle injectors and a special piston cavity mean more efficient combustion and improved cooling, which also helps prevent knocking
■ Dual sequential valve timing (S-VT) reduces pumping losses and improves efficiency, especially at lower engine loads
■ i-stop idle-stop system is standard.

* SKYACTIV-G 2.0; 13:1 for the SKYACTIV-G 2.5
** A vailable as of January 2015, according to in-house data


The best of all worlds united in a Mazda’s all-new six-speed automatic transmission, SKYACTIV-Drive combines the benefits of conventional torque converter automatics, continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) and dual-clutch transmissions.

■ Full-range direct drive torque converter with full-range lock-up clutch for all six gears:
• prevents torque converter slip and the associated loss of power typical for conventional automatics during acceleration
• delivers a connected manual-like feel with a direct response to the accelerator pedal and changes in engine load
• up to 7% better fuel economy than conventional automatics
■ A mechatronic module enables the quick and accurate oil pressure modulation required for such high-precision hydraulics and quick shifting, also enhancing reliability
■ Advanced dampers absorb the increased NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) inherent to an exceptionally wide lock-up range
■ Multi-disk lock-up clutch and piston improve clutch durability and control
■ A better shift response, faster downshifting and easier starts than a dual clutch transmission
■ Smoother, more comfortable shifting than dual-clutch or conventional torque converter transmissions
■ Superior fuel economy to a CVT at high speeds and a torque converter unit at low speeds
■ A more direct feel than CVTs or conventional torque converter transmissions

i-stop: Cleverly quick

Standard fuel-saving equipment on the 2015 Mazda CX-5, i-stop is an innovative, intelligent idle-stop system that uses combustion energy for the restarts.

■ Delivers some of the fastest restarts in the industry
• 0.35 seconds for SKYACTIV-G petrol engines
■ Uses a refined control module to switch off the engine in the ignition/expansion stroke (petrol engine) the optimum cycles for restarting
• i-stop actually waits for the moment the cylinders are in the ideal restart position before shutting off the engine
• in the meantime, Mazda occupants can still use the vehicle’s electricpowered systems

6. Chassis & Body
In perfect balance

Featuring the SKYACTIV-Body and SKYACTIV-Chassis, the Mazda CX-5 has always been the SUV that handles like a car. Now – in reaction to popular demand – it offers more refinement under a variety of road conditions.

Concentrating as always on the essentials, Mazda made sure its first compact SUV delivered an outstanding balance between diverging variables like responsiveness and stability, agility and ride comfort, and passive safety and weight. Never satisfied, however, the company was aiming to push the boundaries further on the 2015 Mazda CX-5, and in particular to enhance ride quality, but of course without undermining the car’s outstanding handling.

And that led to a re-examination of the suspension system. The engineers chose to stick with the MacPherson strut and rear multi-link setup while, for example, optimising the front lower arm bushings. They now hold their shape better under load, which in turn smoothens the movement of the arms themselves for more stability in terms of spring behaviour and with it a smoother ride.

Revamped shocks
The shock absorbers were also a target of scrutiny. Restructured front and back, optimised friction characteristics smoothen damper movement in response to minute stroke action. The larger diameter pistons heighten the performance of the rear shocks, which also deliver more damping force quicker. As a result, the 2015 CX-5 is just as light and pleasant to drive as the current version, but with a “flat” bump-suppressing ride and a better initial steering response. In a nutshell: more comfortable than ever, yet still precise and predictable.

The electronic power-assisted steering system uses an array of sensors to measure variables, such as g-force and wheel speed, and monitor the CX-5’s wheel angle and steering wheel behaviour, among other things. The data is then utilised to adjust the feel of the steering wheel according to the driving situation.

Obviously, a description of an SUV chassis would not be complete without addressing its characteristics in four-wheel drive mode. The 2015 CX-5’s efficient and lightweight new-generation all-wheel drive (AWD) setup was the world’s first* with a front-wheel slip detection warning system.

Using 27 sensors to continuously monitor road conditions and driver intentions, the technology conveys power to the wheels that need it most. Take suddenly changing driving conditions like a puddle on the highway or a slippery incline, for example. The system reacts immediately, distributing the right amount of power to the appropriate wheels for optimal front-rear torque distribution. In doing so, it also saves fuel by minimising tire spinning and preventing the sending of excess power to the rear wheels. New low viscosity oil, meanwhile, further improves real-world fuel economy, especially in cold weather.
* As of March 2012, according to in-house-data

Firmly lightweight
Built according to the “gram strategy” – Mazda’s obsession with cutting weight – the SKYACTIV-Body is the product of optimising structures for a lighter yet stiffer result. Lightweight high-strength steels make up 61% of the CX-5 body, with the corresponding benefits in regard to passive safety as well as fuel economy and handling.

To maximise functionality and safety, developers of the SKYACTIV-Body removed curves in the body structures whenever possible in favour of straight, continuous sections, enabling crash energy to disperse throughout the structure rather than being concentrated.

To keep the cabin atmosphere quiet and relaxed, Mazda intensified its concept of blocking noise paths from the engine and road while concentrating materials to supress vibrations and improve sound absorption and insulation. As a result, the engineers added dash and bonnet insulation, thicker glass in the rear doors, improved mats and vibration damping material on the floor, and upgraded the seals around the doors and door latches. Mazda also revised the seat structure for more comfort (see chapter 4), used better sound insulation in the door trim and ceiling, and enhanced the shape of the door mirrors to reduce wind noise.

As a result, the carmaker reduced high-speed cabin noise in the 2015 CX-5 by 13% relative to the current model. But at the same time, while eliminating unpleasant and intrusive noise, drivers still receive the vibration and feedback need to help with driving – and preserve the Jinba Ittai connection with the vehicle inherent to all Mazdas.

Improving NVH
Out on the open road, the underfloor design directs air upwards, smoothing air flow underneath the vehicle and preventing eddy formation behind it. Together with its upper body shape, this makes the 2015 CX-5 one of the most aerodynamic compact SUVs around, with a drag coefficient of 0.33. And that, of course, helps bolster fuel efficiency.

7. Safety
Ingeniously intuitive

Mazda’s Proactive Safety philosophy sets it apart with a range of features that help drivers help themselves. Rather than letting systems take over control of the vehicle, they give drivers extra “eyes” and make them more alert to hazards at all times.

Safety is integral to driving pleasure. As with all new-generation Mazdas, safety in the 2015 Mazda CX-5 is driver focused. With the latest in active safety technology, CX-5 drivers are much better able to proactively avert accidents. And when one is unavoidable, the car provides maximum protection to occupants and pedestrians, in many cases limiting vehicle damage.

The 2015 CX-5 gets its broadest line-up yet of sensor-based i-ACTIVSENSE active and precrash safety systems. This technology, which uses radar, laser and camera technology to help the driver keep track of the surroundings, includes several systems offered for the first time on any Mazda, such as Adaptive LED Headlights (ALH), Lane-keep Assist System (LAS)

ALH is a brand-new system combining glare-free LED high beams, wide-range low beams and an auto-levelling highway mode function. Mazda divided the high beams in each headlamp into four independent LED blocks. When the system’s camera detects an oncoming or preceding vehicle, it shuts off only the high-beam blocks that would impair the vision of its driver, leaving the others on and lighting up most of the road. The widerange low beams, meanwhile, use part of the lighting signature to broaden the headlight coverage to include the space (as seen by the driver) between the A-pillars and side mirrors. This, of course, enhances visibility, particularly at intersections. ALH thereby takes over the functions of Mazda’s High Beam Control system (HBC).

Lane-keep Assist System (LAS) uses a camera to monitor the vehicle’s position based on road markings, warning the driver of unintentional lane changes by vibrating the steering wheel. LAS even provides steering torque assistance to return the 2015 CX-5 safely to the middle of the intended lane. The driver can select between two settings with either constant steering assistance (“early”) or only when an unintentional lane change is occurring (“late”). LAS works at 60km/h and higher, and recognises intentional lane changes when for example the signal lights are blinking in the appropriate direction.
* Safety system availability depends on trim level and market

The active safety systems carried over from the current model include Hill Launch Assist (HLA), Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), which flashes the four-way hazards automatically during heavy braking, four-way ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and brake assist (EBA), dynamic stability control (DCS) and traction control (TCS).

The 2015 CX-5 is designed to give the driver the full benefit of all these systems, with its driver-oriented cockpit whose superior visibility fosters accurate recognition and judgement. But what happens should an accident occur in spite of it all? That’s entirely up to the design of the car. And again here, Mazda engineers made no compromises.

They designed the lightweight yet exceptionally rigid SKYACTIV-Body (see chapter 6) to channel impact energy away from the cabin, utilising a frame with straighter, more continuous members and an efficient multi-load path structure.

Ready for impact
High-strength steels play a big role, making up 61% of the total used in the CX-5’s body. The B-pillar, roof reinforcement cross sections, door impact beams and side sills, for example, use high-tensile steel to enhance cabin protection. Such measures help channel the load outside the cabin during a collision and prevent it from deforming. The SKYACTIVBody’s multi-load path structure ensures the optimal distribution of frontal impact energy along the various load paths, while the CX-5’s straightened rear frame and optimised shapes also absorb crash forces effectively.

The engineers built the suspension with a larger crumple zone to soak up more impact energy as well. On AWD models, for example, the driveshaft detaches from the underbody during a crash and contracts, also breaking away from the rear differential. It thus absorbs the energy from the backward movement of the engine, channelling it underneath the cabin. And to minimise repair costs following a minor frontal crash, the brunt of the impact is borne by easy-to-replace bolt-on parts, protecting the front frame and engine compartment.

The 2015 CX-5 comes with standard front, side and curtain airbags. The front seatbelts have pretensioners as well as load limiters, which mitigate the impact on the chest. The steering column, with its tilt and telescopic functionality for maximum comfort, helps prevent injury, too, shifting forward during an accident to protect the driver.

Inside the cabin
The front seats feature an anti-whiplash design that reduces the movement and rotation of the head and torso during a rear impact while at the same time decreasing the load to which they are exposed. In the back, Mazda gave the seats an internal anti-submarine mechanism to restrain the lower body during an accident. Reinforced rear seatback frames, mounts and hinges, meanwhile, prevent luggage from entering the cabin. And for the smallest passengers, the CX-5 has ISOFIX connections and top-tether anchors for safe and easy child seat installation.

As for pedestrians, the CX-5’s bonnet has crumple zone built in and a body cowl and instrument panel that provide added give in case of contact with a person’s head. To reduce leg injury potential, the front bumper is equipped with shock absorbing material, while a rigid area at the bottom helps prevent the legs from going underneath the vehicle.


Eli has 28 years of extensive IT sales expertise in Data, voice and network security and integrating them is his masterpiece. Photography and writing is his passion. Growing up as a kid, his father taught him to use the steel bodied Pentax and Hanimex 135mm film and single-direction flash, Polaroid cameras, and before going digital, he used mini DV tape with his Canon videocam. He now shoots with his Canon EOS 30D. Photography and blogging is a powerful mixture for him.

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